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Probe those behind false and alarming terror alerts on social media, Kenya’s Interior Secretary says

KENYA
By Cyrus Ombati | April 30th 2015

NAIROBI: Police have been directed to investigate and take action on people posting alarming terror alerts on social media.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said such false information have caused anxiety and fear amongst many hence need for action.

Nkaissery said he was particularly concerned with messages circulating on social media on planned attacks by terrorists on Kenyan roads, learning institutions and other social joints.

"My attention has also been drawn to false and alarming messaging in circulation on social media platforms that are scaring people with claims of eminent terrorist attacks on highways."

"These acts are in themselves terrorism in nature and I take this opportunity to strongly warn any person who is circulating these messages to desist forthwith," said Nkaissery.

He said the Security Laws Amendment Act (2014) makes it a criminal offence to use social or any other media for purposes of causing alarm and despondency among citizens and that anyone engaged in such activities is warned.

'We have set in motion investigations and are following useful leads behind the said messages. I assure Kenyans that any person caught undertaking these acts of "Social Media Terrorism" will be dealt with severely by the law.'

The CS made the remarks at Harambee House in Nairobi on Wednesday while in the company of Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet.

He said police operations have been enhanced in the past days in a bid to tame any kind of criminality.

"All concerned parties are doing their work to ensure everyone in Kenya and beyond is safe," he said.

Circulation of alarming messages have increased in social networks since April 2, when Al-Shabaab terrorists killed 148 students at Garissa University College.

Such information is rampant in high learning institutions where they have caused panic among students.

Police investigations show those behind them originate them with an intention to cause panic and scare.

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